Influence of β-agonists (ractopamine HCI and zilpaterol HCI) on fecal shedding of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in feedlot cattle

Tom S. Edrington, Russell L. Farrow, Guy H. Loneragan, Sam E. Ives, Michael J. Engler, John J. Wagner, Marilyn J. Corbin, William J. Platter, David Yates, John P. Hutcheson, Richard A. Zinn, Todd R. Callaway, Robin C. Anderson, David J. Nisbet

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ractopamine HC1 and zilpaterol HC1, β-agonists recently approved for use in feedlot cattle to improve performance traits and carcass leanness, were examined for their effects on fecal shedding of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in feedlot cattle. Fecal samples (n = 2,454) were obtained from four experiments (one ractopamine HC1, three zilpaterol HC1) over the course of a 3-year period, either by rectal palpation (ractopamine HC1 experiment) or from pen-floor fecal pats. Samples were cultured quantitatively and qualitatively for E. coli 0157:H7. No significant treatment differences were detected for fecal prevalence of E. coli 0157:H7 in the ractopamine HC1 experiment. Zilpaterol HC1 feeding had no effect (P > 0.20) on fecal shedding in the first or second experiments, with overall E. coli 0157:H7 prevalence relatively low (<7%). In the third zilpaterol HC1 experiment, the percentage of fecal samples that were E. coli 0157:H7 positive following qualitative culture was higher (P < 0.05) in the zilpaterol HC1 treatment (10.3%) than for the control (6.1%). The current research showed minimal effects of β-agonists on fecal shedding off. coli 0157:H7 and indicated that these compounds (fed immediately prior to slaughter) are not a cause for concern from a food safety standpoint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2587-2591
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of food protection
Volume72
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

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